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    Evolution of Gholas

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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby georgiedenbro » 10 Jul 2014 16:11

    Tleilax Master B wrote:"No Face Dancer," Edric said. "A Face Dancer risks exposure under prolonged surveillance. No; let us assume that our wise Sardaukar commander had Idaho's corpse preserved for the axolotl tanks. Why not? This corpse held the flesh and nerves of one of the finest swordsmen in history, an adviser to the Atreides, a military genius. What a waste to lose all that training and ability when it might be revived as an instructor for the Sardaukar."
    [...]
    Edric rolled in the tank, bringing his attention to bear on the ghola. "This is a man called Hayt," he said, spelling the name. "According to our investigators, he has a most curious history. He was killed here on Arrakis . . . a grievous head-wound which required many months of regrowth. The body was sold to the Bene Tleilax as that of a master swordsman, an adept of the Ginaz School. It came to our attention that this must be Duncan Idaho, the trusted retainer of your household. We bought him as a gift befitting an Emperor."
    [...]
    I am a ghola, he told himself.
    That had been a shock, but he had to believe it. To find himself living when he knew he had died, that was proof enough. The Tleilaxu had taken cells from his dead flesh and they had grown a bud in one of their axlotl tanks. That bud had become this body in a process which had made him feel at first an alien in his own flesh.


    I think there may be confusion in previous posts about the perceived differences between making a ghola in the time of DM and in the time of HoD. I think all instances of creating a ghola across all the books are exactly as OP quoted, in the way described in DM. Parts of the original body of a person are taken shortly after death by the BT, and are regrown and revitalized into a living state. There is no copying or 'reproducing from scratch' the genetic equivalent of an individual - it's actually that same individual, brought back.

    Think quickly about the quote above involving the regrowth after Duncan's head wound. The next question is - how much more of him could be missing and still allow regrowth to be complete? It is certainly likely the BT improved their techniques over time to be able to regrow a person from less and less remaining material. If we follow this thought through we arrive at the conclusion that they'd eventually be able to regrow a body that was reduced even to one cell in size. This definitely would allow them to regrow several incarnations of the same person - each one being that same original person brought back to full health. But this isn't cloning!

    Cloning of organisms, as we know it (far be it for me to suggest there will never be another kind), involves implanting an emptied egg with genetic material and then placing that egg in a female as it replicates. While I'm certain the people in the Duniverse can easily accomplish this (although I suspect it is universally banned) it is a completely different procedure than what I think it is the BT do. The BT grow back an individual "Wolverine-style", reconstituting the body fully from some amount of remnant material; think of it like regeneration. I also think they probably developed this technique precisely because cloning was banned, while 'healing damaged persons' was obviously allowed. Using bodily regeneration as the equivalent of necromancy would have been repugnant to many, but hard to legally classify as much different from healing.

    The thing they obviously learned is the similarity between cellular regeneration and between mitosis, and found that a uterus could be used for either purpose. They probably also learned how to adjust the uterus to influence the regeneration process, so that the regenerated body had properties the original didn't.

    While I do think the idea is cool that the original Axlotl tanks were mechanical tanks and that the BT only later learned how to use their females, I find this explanation unnecessary since I don't think the ghola process ever changed appreciably. I also somehow doubt the BT ability to develop this strange technology at that time when it was Ix and Richese that specialized in machines. I also think that the omission of the mention of BT females until the later books was quite intentional right from DM, indicating that the females were always the 'tanks'.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby D Pope » 11 Jul 2014 00:39

    georgiedenbro wrote: I also somehow doubt the BT ability to develop this strange technology at that time when it was Ix and Richese that specialized in machines.

    How so? Yeah, their focus is biology but it's also spying. If BT lacked
    the expertise to build their own, say, electron microscope, they could
    simply order one from Ix. Less peripheral equipment could be acquired
    lots of ways without spilling the beans. The method I see them favor;
    kidnap a cadre of engineers.

    In all likelihood, the tanks themselves would probably be a lot less
    difficult to build than other stuff you'd need to 'speak the language of
    God.' At the end of the day we're talking about a glorified incubator.
    The magic happens at some atomic level, where minerals become organic.

    Another point, it isn't mentioned but BT is a whole world with all the
    stuff for civilization. There will be mines, forges, and machine shops
    as well as farms, boat yards, and glass works. It's not like the brands
    known for making the best stuff are the only ones making anything.

    georgiedenbro wrote:I also think that the omission of the mention of BT females until the later books was quite intentional right from DM, indicating that the females were always the 'tanks'.

    That could be, it's just as possible that the original BT model was going
    to be a hive queen sort of society, complete with face dancing drones. I
    like to think Frank hadn't quite made up his mind until HoD.

    That bud had become this body in a process which had made him feel at first an alien in his own flesh.

    This is misleading, not from a good source. Hayt was a reanimated cadaver. There wasn't enough time between Duncans death and Hayts introduction at court to grow from a bud.

    http://jacurutu.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t ... fca#p87165
    Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby georgiedenbro » 11 Jul 2014 09:18

    D Pope wrote:How so? Yeah, their focus is biology but it's also spying. If BT lacked
    the expertise to build their own, say, electron microscope, they could
    simply order one from Ix. Less peripheral equipment could be acquired
    lots of ways without spilling the beans. The method I see them favor;
    kidnap a cadre of engineers.

    In all likelihood, the tanks themselves would probably be a lot less
    difficult to build than other stuff you'd need to 'speak the language of
    God.' At the end of the day we're talking about a glorified incubator.
    The magic happens at some atomic level, where minerals become organic.

    Another point, it isn't mentioned but BT is a whole world with all the
    stuff for civilization. There will be mines, forges, and machine shops
    as well as farms, boat yards, and glass works. It's not like the brands
    known for making the best stuff are the only ones making anything.


    Yes this is possible, but it seems to me that Frank went out of his way to demonstrate how slow progress was in that universe, and how stagnant most or all of the factions were. A plot-oriented solution (aka like in "24" - they stole an engineer) isn't the sort of thing I'd expect to need for solving what a race is doing, since Frank typically has 'general principles' that guide what a group can do or not. We never hear about axlotol tanks being mechanical, and the first time we hear anything at all we hear they're biological, and we know the BT are biology masters. I see no reason to posit not only a mechanical technology we've never been told exists but also to have to come up with a plot for how the BT made it. I *guess* they could have made it themselves, but it doesn't sound quite right to me, that's all I can say. It's not clear to me that they could come up with a brand new technology having not been technological experts to be begin with.

    D Pope wrote:
    georgiedenbro wrote:I also think that the omission of the mention of BT females until the later books was quite intentional right from DM, indicating that the females were always the 'tanks'.

    That could be, it's just as possible that the original BT model was going
    to be a hive queen sort of society, complete with face dancing drones. I
    like to think Frank hadn't quite made up his mind until HoD.


    Maybe. I tend to give Frank the benefit of the doubt when I'm not sure about something, since I'm always coming to new realizations 15-20 years after first reading the series. Every other faction's gender roles were integral to what sort of outfit it was. The BG - female group, for specific reasons; the Guild - male group, for specific reasons; Great Houses and the Imperium - led by men, for specific reasons; the BT - ? BT are shown to be male but no reason is given until the last two books for the conspicuous absence of the females. I choose to believe that it's because Frank had plotted out some ideas for them that didn't need to be included in the first four books.

    D Pope wrote:
    That bud had become this body in a process which had made him feel at first an alien in his own flesh.

    This is misleading, not from a good source. Hayt was a reanimated cadaver. There wasn't enough time between Duncans death and Hayts introduction at court to grow from a bud.

    http://jacurutu.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t ... fca#p87165


    I agree fully that Hayt was a reanimated corpse. I'm saying that subsequent creation of gholas, from 'buds', was just their way of doing this same exact process when only tiny amounts of the corpse (e.g. one cell) remained. They didn't need to begin with a bud with Hayt because most of the body was still intact and didn't need to be regrown. My main point is that they don't create gholas through cloning, but through regeneration of the original body, even if all that's left is one cell (in which case they'd begin it as a bud, whatever that is).
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby D Pope » 11 Jul 2014 12:45

    Ok mate.
    Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Freakzilla » 11 Jul 2014 21:48

    FH went through the trouble to distinguish between clones and gholas in CH:D.

    Tamalane frowned. She had disagreed from the first with calling this child a
    ghola. Gholas were grown from cells of a cadaver. This was a clone, just as
    Scytale was a clone.


    This passage was referring to Teg, recreated from cell samples taken from the living original, as they are from Tleilaxu masters. The major difference being that a clone wouldn't have death memories.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby georgiedenbro » 11 Jul 2014 22:48

    Yes, this is the distinction I was going for, thanks for the confirming quote :)

    There doesn't seem to be much mention of clones through the books, but the conspicuous lack of mention of it leads me to believe that Frank assumed the banning of it would be so obvious that the characters wouldn't even deem it worth mentioning. Otherwise one would expect that all sorts of 'superior' persons would be cloned for use by various parties. Once the old empire was gone (after the scattering) I imagine a lot of old laws began to be ignored.

    I love the implications of gholas containing death memory (i.e. serial memory) while clones wouldn't, as a sci-fi concept, as it allows Frank to verge the BG connection with humanity's past with an artificial and limited version of the same by the BT through gholas.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Serkanner » 12 Jul 2014 03:18

    georgiedenbro wrote:Yes, this is the distinction I was going for, thanks for the confirming quote :)

    There doesn't seem to be much mention of clones through the books, but the conspicuous lack of mention of it leads me to believe that Frank assumed the banning of it would be so obvious that the characters wouldn't even deem it worth mentioning. Otherwise one would expect that all sorts of 'superior' persons would be cloned for use by various parties. Once the old empire was gone (after the scattering) I imagine a lot of old laws began to be ignored.

    I love the implications of gholas containing death memory (i.e. serial memory) while clones wouldn't, as a sci-fi concept, as it allows Frank to verge the BG connection with humanity's past with an artificial and limited version of the same by the BT through gholas.


    Do you have any proof from the books that cloning was banned? If not, I think we shouldn't assume it was banned at all. It fogs the discussion.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Freakzilla » 12 Jul 2014 10:14

    Cloning may have been "taboo", like artificial insemination. The BG were obviously turned off by the BT offer to help with their breeding program.

    Technically, all the Idahos after Hayt would have been clones, since that original body was surely put into a deathstill.

    The thing that I find ever mysterious is how the last Idaho had all the memories of the other Idahos. I can believe that the BT somehow acquired cells from (nearly) each of the Idahos after death, but if each Idaho was grown from the cells of the last, and not the original (which Leto II seemed to believe) why did they only remember their original life? The BT Masters clearly remembered all their serial lives. If they had followed the same procedure with the Idahos, they all would have had serial memories, too. Maybe the Master's memory restoration required the same double trauma/imprinting awakening too? I think this possible since the BT expected idaho to create a visible disturbance in the BG once imprinted, however I assumed this was referring to his own reprogramming to kill the imprinter. But surely this wasn't the first Idaho the BG planned to imprint so I think this unlikely.

    The text implies that the last Idaho was was just a composite of cells of all the others. I don't even see how that's possible, much less how only the original memories were restored and not any random Idaho or all of them.

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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby inhuien » 12 Jul 2014 15:45

    Freakzilla wrote:It's too early for this, you people are going to drive me to drink... :obscene-drinkingdrunk:

    A Shotgun Betty? :)
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Freakzilla » 12 Jul 2014 17:02

    inhuien wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:It's too early for this, you people are going to drive me to drink... :obscene-drinkingdrunk:

    A Shotgun Betty? :)


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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Freakzilla » 12 Jul 2014 17:13

    It unsurprisingly goes well with Wild Turkey.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Serkanner » 13 Jul 2014 03:47

    Freakzilla wrote:Cloning may have been "taboo", like artificial insemination. The BG were obviously turned off by the BT offer to help with their breeding program.

    Technically, all the Idahos after Hayt would have been clones, since that original body was surely put into a deathstill.

    The thing that I find ever mysterious is how the last Idaho had all the memories of the other Idahos. I can believe that the BT somehow acquired cells from (nearly) each of the Idahos after death, but if each Idaho was grown from the cells of the last, and not the original (which Leto II seemed to believe) why did they only remember their original life? The BT Masters clearly remembered all their serial lives. If they had followed the same procedure with the Idahos, they all would have had serial memories, too. Maybe the Master's memory restoration required the same double trauma/imprinting awakening too? I think this possible since the BT expected idaho to create a visible disturbance in the BG once imprinted, however I assumed this was referring to his own reprogramming to kill the imprinter. But surely this wasn't the first Idaho the BG planned to imprint so I think this unlikely.

    The text implies that the last Idaho was was just a composite of cells of all the others. I don't even see how that's possible, much less how only the original memories were restored and not any random Idaho or all of them.

    It's too early for this, you people are going to drive me to drink... :obscene-drinkingdrunk:


    Duncun also had memories of the Idaho's of whom no cells were recovered.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Freakzilla » 13 Jul 2014 10:26

    Serkanner wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Cloning may have been "taboo", like artificial insemination. The BG were obviously turned off by the BT offer to help with their breeding program.

    Technically, all the Idahos after Hayt would have been clones, since that original body was surely put into a deathstill.

    The thing that I find ever mysterious is how the last Idaho had all the memories of the other Idahos. I can believe that the BT somehow acquired cells from (nearly) each of the Idahos after death, but if each Idaho was grown from the cells of the last, and not the original (which Leto II seemed to believe) why did they only remember their original life? The BT Masters clearly remembered all their serial lives. If they had followed the same procedure with the Idahos, they all would have had serial memories, too. Maybe the Master's memory restoration required the same double trauma/imprinting awakening too? I think this possible since the BT expected idaho to create a visible disturbance in the BG once imprinted, however I assumed this was referring to his own reprogramming to kill the imprinter. But surely this wasn't the first Idaho the BG planned to imprint so I think this unlikely.

    The text implies that the last Idaho was was just a composite of cells of all the others. I don't even see how that's possible, much less how only the original memories were restored and not any random Idaho or all of them.

    It's too early for this, you people are going to drive me to drink... :obscene-drinkingdrunk:


    Duncun also had memories of the Idaho's of whom no cells were recovered.


    Yeah, that totally fucks everything up.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Naïve mind » 13 Jul 2014 16:36

    They always noticed him eventually. He heard their voices. "There he is again, Marty," the man would say, calling the woman's attention to Idaho.

    "I wonder how it is he can look through?" Marty asked once. "Doesn't seem possible."

    "He's spread pretty thin, I think. Wonder if he knows the danger?"


    later:
    "Dimes? I don't think they'd have understood that, Marty. The Reverend Mothers, yes, but not that big Mentat. He didn't thin out that far back."


    Duncan's transincarnational awareness was obviously intended to be a plot point. Marty and Daniel seem to perceive the limits of his awareness in a spatial sense. So his is spread out, like a line.

    Note also this passage in chapterhouse.

    "The nose of the donkey doesn't cause the tail, Duncan, no matter how often you see the beast pass that thin vertical space limiting your view of it."



    For what it's worth, Frank and Brian Herbert's Man of two Worlds also features an elderly couple, Uncle Dudley and his wife Osceola, who are able to manipulate time and events.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby lotek » 14 Jul 2014 05:15

    So, the spread thin thing meant that the further Duncan would reach back into his past lives, the more he would have to spread himself thin, to a point where he might not exist anymore.
    I guess it has something to do with OM, but why would Duncan be the only one that mentions the net or D&M, and how come spreading thin to his point is bad but not as far as RM who don't seem to suffer from that problem from the old couple's point of view?

    He was the first ghola to regain his past memories, but not the last, so why don't D&M mention any that would be able to see the net?
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Naïve mind » 14 Jul 2014 16:57

    lotek wrote:I guess it has something to do with OM, but why would Duncan be the only one that mentions the net or D&M, and how come spreading thin to his point is bad but not as far as RM who don't seem to suffer from that problem from the old couple's point of view?


    Pure speculation at this point, but the Reverend Mothers haven't spread themselves out, they just carry the memories of their ancestors.

    Going way past regular speculation and into the realm of imagination, a thin membrane is more susceptible to ripples--and can easily risk being torn apart by them. Suppose Marty and Daniel manipulate the past as well as the present, a single continuous personality (like Duncan's) would feel the effects of their manipulation much more strongly, while short-lived characters would float along with the currents.

    He was the first ghola to regain his past memories, but not the last, so why don't D&M mention any that would be able to see the net?


    I think there are hints that some characters are able to sense it. Teg (very long-lived) in Heretics:

    The workroom around Teg felt alien. Yet, when he looked at each element in it, he found each thing familiar. Here was his own personal data console. His uniform jacket had been draped neatly across a chair-back beside him. He tried to fall into Mentat mode and found his own mind resisting.

    Odrade in Chapterhouse:

    As they stood, the workroom around Odrade took on an alien feeling. What was wrong? Bellonda stared down at her with that awful look of censure. Tamalane appeared more wise than she could possibly be.

    What is it about this room?


    Contrast this remark by Marty:

    Marty called after him: "Gather up enough people and you get a big ball of knowledge, Daniel! That's what I'd have told him. And those Bene Gesserit in that ship! I'd have told them how many of them I have. Ever notice how alienated they feel when we peek at them?"
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby pcqypcqy » 24 Jun 2017 05:55

    Freakzilla wrote:The thing that I find ever mysterious is how the last Idaho had all the memories of the other Idahos. I can believe that the BT somehow acquired cells from (nearly) each of the Idahos after death, but if each Idaho was grown from the cells of the last, and not the original (which Leto II seemed to believe) why did they only remember their original life?

    ...

    The text implies that the last Idaho was was just a composite of cells of all the others. I don't even see how that's possible, much less how only the original memories were restored and not any random Idaho or all of them.


    I know you've quoted extensively Leto II stating how he believed Duncan to be the original, and I agree. But, and this is pure speculation, what if the BT had deceived even the god emperor and done a serial set of Duncans?

    In Heretics, Duncan goes through a two stage awakening. First was Teg restoring his original memories. Second was during the imprint by Murbella which awakened everything.

    What if the BT supplied Leto II serial Duncans and only awakened original memories, but the serial memories were stored in the cells? This could go some way to explain how Duncan in Hereitcs possesses serial memories.

    I know this doesn't quite align with Duncan's self examination and realisation he had memories from Duncan's whose cells he did not contain, just an interesting theory.

    How the hell did Duncan know which cells he did and didn't possess anyway?
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Freakzilla » 24 Jun 2017 08:17

    pcqypcqy wrote:How the hell did Duncan know which cells he did and didn't possess anyway?


    The Bene Gesserit tested it.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby pcqypcqy » 25 Jun 2017 05:21

    Freakzilla wrote:
    pcqypcqy wrote:How the hell did Duncan know which cells he did and didn't possess anyway?


    The Bene Gesserit tested it.



    Isn't there a passage where Duncan says he's personally identified his own gaps? I always thought the BG didn't share that info with him, and he somehow worked it out himself.

    Edit: found the quote from CH:D

    That was the Mentat view. But there was no way the Tleilaxu could have included all of those ghola-Idaho cells to recreate him. There had to be gaps in their serial collection of his cells. He had identified many of those gaps.
    But no gaps in my memory. I remember them all.


    I read that to say he's somehow done a personal examination.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Freakzilla » 25 Jun 2017 11:20

    I thought he was basing that solely of of memory.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby pcqypcqy » 25 Jun 2017 19:28

    Freakzilla wrote:I thought he was basing that solely of of memory.


    The quote seems more suggestive than that to me though. How would he know what gaps existed if the memories he has come from the cells that were included? I.e. he wouldn't know if there was a memory gap or not because all the memories he has came from the cells. Unless it's an intellectual knowledge he's picked up from ship systems or the BG.

    I read it to mean he has some way of knowing what cells are in his body, and he has compared this to his memory record and found gaps.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby Freakzilla » 26 Jun 2017 10:37

    Yeah, I guess he would have to have seen the record of BG tests in their archives.
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby georgiedenbro » 27 Jun 2017 10:20

    Freakzilla wrote:Yeah, I guess he would have to have seen the record of BG tests in their archives.


    Or maybe Duncan's second awakening gave him KH/BG type abilities to register his inner workings?

    Honestly I don't think this part of the story can be made sensible unless we basically assume that the Destination:Void story and Dune exist in the same universe (or at least share physics).
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    Re: Evolution of Gholas

    Postby pcqypcqy » 01 Jul 2017 02:53

    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Yeah, I guess he would have to have seen the record of BG tests in their archives.


    Or maybe Duncan's second awakening gave him KH/BG type abilities to register his inner workings?

    Honestly I don't think this part of the story can be made sensible unless we basically assume that the Destination:Void story and Dune exist in the same universe (or at least share physics).


    Or has some explanation that's a key plot point of a Dune 7. Perhaps he's a super dooper KH? :)

    I've read Destination:Void etc just the once, so don't really know enough to agree or disagree with you.
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